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WordPress Design, What’s it all about?

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What is WordPress

WordPress is an open source content management system based on the PHP coding platform which utilises MySQL databases. WordPress is also supplemented by development work from WordPress.com. It was first released mid-2003 and has since been downloaded more than 20 million times. WordPress was originally known as a blogging platform however it was quickly realised that any kind of website can be built using the WordPress platform. At the foundation of WordPress is a content management system (CMS) which if you are unfamiliar with this concept simply means it allows you to login to your website make changes and manage user roles. This means you can have several people within your business or organisation managing your website. Through these permissions and access roles you can even allow contractors, copywriters and developers access to different aspects of your website.

Because WordPress is open source and used on 60 million websites (or 22% of the top 10 million websites) it enjoys a rich development environment and widespread support from 3rd party developers. This means that shipping companies, security companies, online shopping companies all support WordPress.

If you have an Android or Iphone mobile phone you can even install the WordPress app to manage your Northern Beaches Websites website.

How is it Structured?

Although the nitty gritty of WordPress is quite complex the general structure of it is pretty straight forward. There are 4 key parts to any WordPress website:

  • WordPress core files – The WordPress core files is the main framework and heart of WordPress and comprised of many individual PHP files with many of them in the wp-admin and wp-includes folders. These files build the WordPress environment and allow you to login to your website and make changes to settings, pages etc. The core files also includes user management, menus, media and files, widgets, posts and pages.
  • The WordPress Database – The WordPress database is a boring list of tables and fields which contain all the unique content information of your website. So for example if you have an about page, or you write a new article on your blog this content information gets saved in the WordPress MySQl database. The reason why it gets stored in a database system like MySQL is that the data is easily retrievable and is managed efficiently, making it easy to backup, import, export and secure the data. It also means the content of a website can be managed independently from the WordPress framework.
  • Themes – Themes are a way of applying a beautiful look and feel to your website, and this is what we spend most of our time doing at Northern Beaches Websites. WordPress by default comes with a really standard bare bones theme that works fine out of the box, but it looks pretty ugly! With a custom designed theme we can create unique templates for different parts of your site. So we could have a template for your blog posts, a template for your product pages, a template for your categories and tags, a template for your pages. And then going into even more detail we can have different styles of templates for pages. So for a normal page you can choose whether you want to have a sidebar or not, whether you want a different header image etc. etc. So although the theme might seem at first like a simple aesthetic overlay it actually plays an important part in how you design and layout the content on your page, and of course how your website will work and function on mobile devices and tablets.
  • Plugins – Plugins are the only real optional aspect of a WordPress website, however there are so many good ones why wouldn’t you include a few. We use premium plugins on our website which provide additional functionality to your website like enhanced security, multi-language capabilities, contact and quote forms, galleries and other interactive content. We also use plugins to implement automated SEO practices across your website like meta tags and Google Authorship and XML Sitemaps. Using caching plugins we can compress your website using Gzip into static HTML files which means your website loads faster for visitors and ranks better in Google. Plugins can come in all sizes and shapes, one that we really like at the moment is live chat functionality. Having a live chat on your website is a great way to increase engagement with customers and giving them an instantaneous avenue to get in touch with you. Live chat is a great way to improve sales!

Migration

It’s very easy to migrate your existing website into the WordPress platform especially if you are using existing frameworks like Blogger, Blogroll, LiveJournal, Movable Type/Typepad, RSS, Tumblr or a WordPress.com website. We can also easily import your website from Drupal and static HTML websites, unfortunately however we can’t import flash websites unless of course there is good contrast between your text and the background which in this case we can use OCR (image recognition technology) to translate your flash images into readable digital type.

Northern Beaches Website Design

You know with Northern Beaches Websites that you are getting a custom designed WordPress template that is a cut above the rest. Our experienced team has done over 100 installations and coded many themes which means we create bug free themes that are reliable and scalable. We produce our themes in fast turn around times with quality assurance guarantees as we are ISO 9001 compliant. Our teams only priority is ensuring you are getting excellent value for money by giving you a great return on investment (ROI) through transparent reporting and statistics. With your custom designed WordPress CMS you will have a platform in which yourself and your employees can take back control of your website so you can make changes to your website 24/7 with no hassle and no charge! You can edit content on your website effortlessly using an HTML editor or a visual editor which is similar to Microsoft Word in the cloud.

Custom Solutions Using PHP Development

Our teams consists also of trained PHP developers which have sound experience delivering all sorts of customisation to our WordPress websites. If you need unique membership sections that give reports on members, or maybe you’re in a medical practice and you want to confidentially share records with patients, our custom PHP development department is here to help and provide winning solutions. We work with many partners around the world to outsource some PHP development projects where it is cost effective to do so, so you can always get an affordable price.

Our team has experience in all versions of PHP including PHP4 and 5 and interacting with other coding platforms like HTML, XML, CSS and databases like MySQL, Oracle, SQL lite and Microsoft server. PHP is an object oriented programming language which uses the MVC or model view controller development methodology. This allows our developers to work on different sections of code individually and simultaneously. Please contact us to learn more about our custom PHP development capabilities.

AUTHOR - Martin Gibson

Founder and Senior Web Designer/Developer & Graphic Artist of Northern Beaches Websites

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